I thought that it would be helpful to have a list of prospects in alphabetical order so that everybody would be able to quickly get a thumbnail sketch of who the player is when they hear his name called out this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I also wanted to post something that the casual fan could use to familiarize themselves with potential draftees and come up with thieir list of names that they'll be rooting for.
Just to be clear, this isn't an exhaustive list of all of the guys that interest me in this year's draft. It is a list of guys that interest me, good and bad, that I also beleive the Giants will have the opportunity to draft next week. There is an additional group of about 10 prospects that I really like (including guys like Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Kyle Zimmer), but who I'm certain will be off the board by the time the Giants get to call out their first pick at #20 overall.
I've broken this list into 2 groups: Puerto Ricans and everybody else (both groups are listed in alphabetical order for ease of use). I did this because, without a doubt, this is the best - and deepest - group of Boricuas available since the island was forced into the draft back in 1990. The previously highest draft pick from the island was Ramon Castro, taken at #17 overall back in 1994. This year Carlos Correa will be traken with one of the first 6 picks. As I posited in my fanpost about the affects of the new CBA rules, I think that the Giants should continue a trend that they started in last year's draft and consider drafting several Puerto Rican prospects after the 2nd round - ni order to get more bang (and upside) for their buck. I also believe that, in general, the Puerto Rican contingency will be easier to sign at or below slot than an American high school prospect of similar value would be in the same draft spot.
Jose Orlando Berrios: RHP, Papa Juan XXIII HS, Bayamon, P.R. (6'1", 185) DOB=5/27/94
Ranked the #49 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Berrios hit 96 mph a few times and sat 93-94 in his 3 innings of work during May's Excellence Tournament in P.R. of work. "He threw his fastball down in the zone and overmatched hitters with a three-pitch arsenal. Berrios mixed in an 80-81 mph slider and showed an improved changeup with good fade. He struck out the side in his final inning, with his last pitch registering at 95 mph. Berrios has been working with a strength and conditioning coach in the past year - allowing him to gain strength and put on 20-25 pounds of muscle and mass. Berrios is sure to be drafted within the first 75 picks.
Kristian Brito: 1B, RHH, Ramon Quinones Medina HS, Yabucoa, P.R. (6'5", 240) DOB= 12/20/94
Ranked the #370 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Easily one of the youngest players in the entire draft. Brito is a big, strong kid who isn't done growing and who is still a very raw baseball player. Brito really wowed scouts with his power bat at the PG World Games showcase back in January. He hit several long HRs in BP and squared up balls consistently. In the actual games, he continued to show a natural bat as he singled and doubled, and made hard contact that registered 90 mph coming off his bat. Some scouts said that his swing mechanics reminded them a bit of current Giants minor league slugger, Chris Dominguez, although Brito is said to stay shorter to the ball than Dominguez. He has a lot of upside, but he's very raw and is stuck at 1B as a defender, so it's hard for me to see him get drafted before the 5th round.
Janluis Castro: SS/C, SWH (throws RH), Colegio Hector Urdaneta HS, Ceiba, P.R. (5'9", 160) DOB=1/4/94
Castro performed well during the PG World Showcase event back in January 2012. He went 3-3 with a double in 1 game. Castro has a strong athletic build, with a quick bat, and has a good swing at the plate. He really stood out in batting practice by demonstrating very similar mechanics and bat speed from both sides of the plate (very rare in such a young switch-hitter). Castro is mostly projection at this point, with now loud tools that jump out at you. It's hard for me to see him being drafted before the 8th round.
Bryan De La Rosa: C, RHH, Bucky Dent Baseball School, Boca Raton, FL (5'9", 180) DOB=3/26/94
Ranked the #200 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. De La Rosa has been living in Florida this spring - playing for a baseball academy, so he's much more well-known by scouts and has faced much better competition than the typical P.R. prospect. He wowed scouts during the defensive workouts and BP sessions at the PG World Showcase event back in January 2012, and then went out and repeated it in the actual games. He showed good receiving skills, effectively used his arm strength and quick release to throw behind runners and made very hard contact in his ABs. De La Rosa is said to have a simple swing that combines strength and bat speed with an easy hitting rhythm. In the catching drills, he had the fastest pop time (1.71) of all of the 20+ catchers (American and foreign) at the event, and he tied with Wyatt Mathisen for the top velocity (85 mph) on his throws to 2B. He's well-known by scouts and has a chance to be an above-average defensive catcher with an above average bat. I can see him being drafted anywhere between the 4th and 6th rounds.
Edwin Diaz: RHP, Naguabo HS, Naguabo, P.R. (6'2", 165) DOB=3/22/94
Ranked the #76 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Diaz hit 97 mph twice in his 1st inning of relief work during May's Excellence Tournament in P.R. then settled in at 92-95 in his 2nd inning of work. "Diaz has a tall, lean body, repeats his delivery well and threw strikes. He preferred to pitch away from hitters and mixed in a 77-80 mph slurve and a changeup." BA.com spoke to several scouts after the tournament and here's what they came away with: "Diaz's long, lanky frame has it's pros and cons. His long arms allow him to whip the ball with surprising velocity. He sits in the 92-95 mph range and touched 97 twice in his first outing at the Excellence Tournament. But, like many tall, gangly pitchers, the Miami Dade recruit sometimes has trouble controlling his limbs, which leads to spotty control and an inconsistent curveball. That, along with the fact that he doesn't use his changeup much, leads many scouts to believe he fits best as a power reliever in pro ball." Diaz is sure to go off the board sometime before the end of the 2nd round. Miami-Dade JuCo commit.
Malcom Diaz: RHP, International Baseball Academy, San Juan, P.R. (6'3", 175) DOB=3/24/94
Diaz threw very well PG World Showcase event back in January. His FB was 89-91 mph during his 3 innings of work and it showed very good cutting and sinking action. His breaking ball was nothing to right home about and needs a lot of work to firm up the shape and break, but he showed a loose arm and low effort delivery that projects very well. He's very raw, but has a live arm with great arm speed. Could be worth a gamble between the 6th and 9th rounds if he's signable. Alabama State Univ. commit.
Jorge Fernandez: CF/RF, SWH (throws RH), Colegio Hector Urdaneta, Ceiba, P.R. (6'4", 180) DOB=//9
Ranked the #471 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Fernandez has improved by leaps and bounds this spring, after converting from catcher to the OF. He is still very raw and needs a lot of development, but for a former catcher he is remarkably toolsy and athletic. In the OF, Fernandez flashes the speed and range that lead some scouts to think he can handle CF in the future, while others feel that he'll likely be pushed to right field as he grows and matures. He's been timed as fast as 6.7 seconds in the 60 and he has thrown as fast as 93 mph when throwing from the OF. He's got a long, lean and projectable frame, with sloping shoulders and long arms that speaks of noticeable strength gains in the coming years. Fernandez, a switch-hitter, shows a lot of potential power , especialy from the left side. He generates tremendous bat speed with an easy swing from both sides of the plate with an easy and smooth swing that doesn't rely on a big stride or long swing. He's able to do that because his hands and hips fire through with remarkable speed. There is enough mixed opinion among scouts on him that he could end up going off the board anywhere from the 3rd round through the 10th. Alabama State Univ. commit.
VID: Hit, run, field practice - World Showcase (Jan. 2012) - http://perfectgame.org/Players/Playerprofile.aspx?ID=285788
Robert Martinez: CF/RF, Ramon Quinones Medina HS, P.R. (6'1", 180) DOB=2/8/94
Martinez has is a potential 4-tool talent with a very projectable frame. He will likely grow out of CF as he matures. He has a simple and fairly compact swing that generates excellent bat-speed. Strong hands and wrists.
VID: OF drills + live ABs - May 2012: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=29113154&content_id=21808149
Angel J. Ortega: SS, RHH, Colegio Hector Urdaneta HS, Ceiba, P.R. (6'2", 160) DOB=9/11/93
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Ortega showed well at the PG World Games showcase back in January. He reached base and also stole a base in 1 game. Ortega showed that he knows how to stay inside the ball well at the plate, that he is sound defensively at SS, and that he has a strong arm (clocked as high as 89 mph on throws from SS), and good actions in the field. With his projectable above average defensive potential at SS and his chance to add strength and mass to his frame, I can see Ortega being drafted anywhere between the 5th and 9th rounds.
Edgardo Rivera: CF, Adolfina de Puig HS, Toa Baja, P.R. (6'0", 155) DOB=4/12/94
Ranked the #176 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. As yoiu can see from his spotty bio line, it's difficult to find specific measurements and info on Rivera. Rivera's calling card is his blazing speed. He ran the 60 in a blazing 6.3 seconds at the beginning of May. He is also very toolsy and athletic. He was basically unknown, even by scouts familiar with the PR scene, until he right before he got invited to the Excellence Games showcase event about 4 weeks ago. He showed such potential at that event that the MLB Scouting Bureau graded him out at a 56 (on the standard 20-80 scale). For comparison, Carlos Correa was graded out at a 58. Still, Rivera’s skills are very raw, he's played so few games against even the most average level of high school competitionion, and so few scouts have been able to see him play against good competition that it's hard for me to see some team taking a gamble on him in the first 3 rounds. Here's what the MLB.com evaluators have to say about him after seeing him play in May down in P.R.:
"Rivera is very raw but has definitely shown off his plus speed. He has good range in the outfield, but with an average arm. At the plate, he makes consistent, solid contact with pretty good bat speed. With such a small frame, power won't be part of his game. Rivera has some mechanical problems, but if teams think that they can smooth them out, he will be an early-round Draft pick".
Ismael Sanchez: SS, SWH (throws RH), Ruben Rodriguez Figueroa HS, Bayamon, P.R. (6'3", 190) DOB= //9
Sanchez showed OK at the PG World Games showcase back in January, but didn't wow the scouts. Sanchez has a fairly strong arm that has been clocked as high as 88 mph on throws from the OF and as high as 84 on throws from SS. He had a huge day at the plate in one game, coming up with three hits. He employs a very aggressive swing at the plate with very good bat speed. I can see him being drafted anywhere between the 8th and 20th rounds.
AMERICANS & CANADIANS
Freddy Avis: RHP, Menlo HS, Atherton, CA (6'2", 185) DOB=11/3/93
Avis was ranked as the #39 overall draft prospect by BaseballAmerica back in February, but he slipped to #56 in their mid-May rankings. He has a very projectable frame, a loose and easy motion and a lively arm. He's naturally athletic and would likely also be a sought-after prospect if he were only being judged on his offensive potential with the bat. He came to national attention in the summer of 2011 on the showcase circuit. After a growth spurt in 2010, he saw his velocity jump that had him sitting in the low-90s and touching 94 mph in the summer of 2011. During the current 2012 HS season, he has consolidated his velocity gains of last summer with a FB that sits consistently in the 91-94 mph range and has touched 95. He's also been reportedly flashing a plus curveball of late. His FB has shown late life and he has commanded his pitches well. Avis will likely have to be drafted inside of the first 30-35 picks to get him to drop his reportedly strong commitment to Stanford. Here's what BA's Conor Glassey wrote about him after seeing him in the August 2011 Area Code Games in Long Beach: "He showed good balance in his delivery and a quick arm from a high three-quarters arm slot. Avis' fastball was in the 91-93 mph range and he mixed in an inconsistent 72-74 mph curveball and an 83-84 mph changeup."
VID1: Live game (halfspeed) - Feb. 2012: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7529350
Dylan Baker: RHP, Western Nevada JuCo, NV (6'3", 215) DOB=4/6/92
Ranked the #83 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Baker is a draft-eligible sophomore that has exploded on the scene this spring as his velocity showed big and sustained gains (consistently touching the uppper-90s). Since last summer, he’s added at least 15 pounds to his frame and at least 6 mph to his fastball. In the regular season, Baker went 12-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 72.2 innings of work. On the downside, he also had 38 BBs (4.7 per 9 innings). As good as his FB has been this year, his breaking pitches are what makes him really stand out. He throws 2 types of breaking balls — a mid-80s slider with explosive lateral movement and a hard, downer curveball that's a few mph slower. Many scouts have rated his slider as future 65-70 pitch. Dylan has raised some concerns in the scouting community with his last few outings of the season. He has appeared fatigued and his velocity dipped to the 91-94 range in his last start - a start where he couldn’t hold an 11-4 lead and ended up surrendering 11 runs while walking five in just 4.1 innings. In Baker’s previous outing against the same team in late March, he was thoroughly dominant in winning 1-0 with a fastball in the high-90s.
'12: IP=72.2, K=114, K/9=14.1, BB=38, BB/9=4.7, K/BB=3, H=34, H/9=4.2, WHIP=.99, ERA=1.86
Robert Benincasa: RHP, Florida State Univ., (6'2", 200) DOB=9/5/90
Has blossomed this year as the closer for FSU after 2 disappointing seasons as a spot starter and long reliever. Has seen a dramatic jump in his K-rate while his BB-rate has also dropped to elite levels. Some of this is due to the overall weakness in the ACC this year, but he's certainly a much better pitcher this year in terms of command and control and being able to use all 3 of his pitches at anytime in the count. He throws an 89-92 FB (that touches 93), a good SL, and a very good splitter that he uses as his changeup. He's old for his draft class.
2011: IP=32.2, K/9=7.2
2012: IP=32, K=45, K/9=12.7, BB=5, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=9, H/9=4.5, WHIP=.66, BABIP=.279, BAA=.156
Paul Blackburn: RHP, Heritage HS, Oakley, CA, (6'3", 170) DOB=12/4/93
Ranked the #57 overall prospect by BA and #73 by Keith Law in their mid-May rankings. How can the Giants pass up the chance to have 2 young pitching prospects named Blackburn in their org? The pick would pay for itself in hilarious hijinx and goodwill from the media looking for easy story angles. Seriously though, like Clayton Blackburn, Paul Blackburn is a pitcher who is known for his heavy FB and athleticism. Unlike Clayton, Paul is thin and wiry with a very projectable frame that can be projected to see noticeable velocity gains as he matures and adds mass and strength to his frame. Blackburn first came to national prominence last October when he shut out a quality Tampa Bay Warriors lineup and recorde 8 Ks over 5 innings at the 17u WWBA National Championship Tournament in Florida. Blackburn was sitting in 88-91 mph range and touching 92 in the showcase circuit games last year and has seen his velocity tick up this spring to where he's been reported to be touching 94 mph in several starts. Blackburn has very good command and control of his pitches and call throw all 3 of them (FB, CU, CH) for strikes on a consistent basis. This spring he has recorded 84 Ks vs. only 14 BBs in 77 innings of work in a highly-competitve and high-level Northern California league. Arizona State Univ. commit.
Alex Bregman: 2B, RHH, Albuquerque Baseball Academy, NM (5'11", 175) DOB=3/30/94
Ranked the #121 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Big bat for a smaller guy. This kid can flat-out hit - always has. Questions remain about where to play him. He doesn't have enough speed for CF, or the range and great hands for to remain at SS. It's likely going to be 2B or 3B for him eventually, although he's been toying with trying out as a catcher this year. LSU commit.
UPDATE: May 10th - In his first game back from breaking his finger, Alex went 2-for-2 with a BB & game-winning double. Then in semi-final game on May 11th, Bregman hits 2-run HR.
VID 1: fielding & hitting - summer 2011: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/02/draft-video-alex-bregman/
VID 2: 14 HRs in < 5 minutes - Aug 2011 PG Showcase HR contest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZijRmeS_xs
Brandon Brennan: RHP, Orange Coast College JuCo, Costa Mesa, CA (6'4", 210) DOB=7/26/91
Ranked the #245 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Brennan transferred to OCC last Fall following a freshman year for the Univ. of Oregon where he played sparingly. He just completed his sophomore year at OCC where he has impressed the scouts by consistently being in the 94-95 mph range with his FB throughout the spring, and dominating the competition in start after start to finish with an 11-1 record in 14 starts - including 2 complete game shutouts. He was picked by the Rockies in the 40th round of the 2010 draft. Univ. of Houston commit.
'12: IP=108.1, K=72, K/9=5.6, BB=23, BB/9=1.9, K/BB=3.1, H=76, H/9=6.3, WHIP=.91, ERA=1.25
Eric Brooks: RHP, McLennan JuCo, TX (6'2", 195) DOB=8/29/90
Ranked the #237 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Brooks, a transfer from the Univ. of Houston last fall, had a dominant sophomore season this spring. He ended up with a 10-1 record and a 1.49 ERA. He has consistently touched 95-96 mph with his FB in almost all of his starts this season. Brooks is a very athletic kid who has seen his velocity jump by around 8 mph in the past 2 seasons since he graduated from high school. Texas A&M commit.
'12: IP=78.2, K=92, K/9=10.5, BB=12, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=7.7, H=60, H/9=6.9, WHIP=.92, ERA=1.49
Damion Carroll: RHP, King George HS, VA (6'4", 195) DOB=1/3/94
Ranked the #132 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's a good athlete, being the starting forward on his HS basketball team that reached the state Division 4 tournament the last 2 years. He's got a very nice pitcher's frame with long arms and legs. He started touching the low 90s with his FB during the 2011 HS baseball season, and this year he has improved to where he has been touching 95 mph in most starts. He's still quite raw at pitching, with all of his secondary pitches currently being inconsistent and below average, but he shows the abity to develop a power curve. His
lack of a Div. 1 college commitment have many teams thinking that he could still be signable into the 6th round. PG.com tweet (from middle of March): "2012 RHP Damien Carroll from King George HS in Virginia was up to 95 the other night."
Robby Coles: RHP, Chipola JuCo, Marianna, FL (6'0", 170) DOB=//
Coles just finished his sophomore season at Chipola and will be headed to FSU this fall if he doesn't get an offer that he likes in the upcoming draft. He has a slight build and there's not much projection left for him, but he does have a live arm and a bulldog mentality (career 19-4 won/loss record). He has a solid 3-pitch mix and a fastball that reaches 92 mph. He has some decent swing-and-miss stuff (152 Ks in 163 career innings at Chipola), but his control has been spotty so he issues too many BBs (career BB/9=3.4) and hits too many batters (career HBP=30). He's also been difficult for
opposing hitters to square up - yielding on 3 HRs and 24 XBHs in 163 career innings. Florida State Univ. commit
'12: IP=70.2, K=68, K/9=8.7, BB=22, BB/9=2.8, K/BB=3.1, H=78, H/9=9.9, WHIP=1.41, ERA=3.18
Tim Cooney: LHP, Wake Forest Univ. (6'3", 195) DOB=12/19/1990
Ranked the #116 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. What you get with Cooney is well above average arm speed and arm strength. You also get a guy that has the makings of 2 very good pitches (an above average FB and a fringe-plus changeup), as well as a very promising cut FB that he just started throwing this season. What you don't get with Cooney at this point is pitchability or even just an average breaking ball. You also aren't likely to get any more projection out of him on the physical side (he's pretty much physically matured), but he could pick up 1 or 2 mph in the future with a smoothing out of his mecahnics. After a somewhat difficult and disappointing freshman year for Wake Forest in 2010, Cooney really blossomed n 2011 as a sophomore and Friday night starter for Wake. Cooney showed that he had well above-average swing-and-miss stuff and excellent control in the very high level of play and competition provided by the ACC. He then moved onto the Cape Cod League where he started 9 games for the Chatham Anglers - striking out 46 batters and only walking 8 in 48.1 innings. He only gave up 47 hits and finished with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. In watching him pitch, I see a guy with a fairly simple, compact, and repeatable delivery. He doesn't look very athletic on the mound, and his build is not athletic or projectable. I like the arm slot and the lack of max-effort mechanics, but it seems to me that he telegraphs his breaking ball and off-speed pitch just a bit. What you get with Cooney is the potential to be a #2/#3 starter if he learns some pitchability and gains more consistency. He has the velocity (90-94 mph on his FB) to be overpowering from the LH side (although he needs to maintain the velocity better throughout a game), his changeup has plus potential (it shows great sink and arm-side run and has around a 12 mph difference between it and his FB), and he's developed a very nice cut FB this year that he throws in the 85-88 mph range and that shows good run into RH hitters. His current breaking ball is a very inconsistent and lazy curveball. A smart team would get him to ditch the CB and teach him a slider (a specialty for the Giants org). Here's how 1 scout described Cooney after the first 4 weeks of the 2012 college season: "Cooney has displayed good stuff this spring. He has a good four-pitch mix with a fastball sitting 90-92 mph. He also has a very good cutter and changeup, and a good curveball."
2012: IP=99, K=90, K/9=8.2, BB=38, BB/9=3.5, K/BB=2.4, H/9=9, WHIP=1.38, BABIP=.336, BAA=.264
D.J. Davis: CF, LHH (throws RH), Stone HS, Wiggins, MS (5'11", 170) DOB=7/25/94
Ranked the #20 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting.
Marcus Davis: RF, LHH, Walters State JuCo, TN (6'3", 215) DOB=//9
Davis transferred to Walters State from LSU prior to his freshman year and has blossomed into one of the top JuCo position players in the nation during his sophomore season this spring. Davis missed his senior year of high school with a shoulder injury, lost his scholarship to LSU, and didn't impress during his 2011 freshman season at Walters State. He's turned all of that around 180 degrees this spring. He has shown himself to be a rare combo of speed and strength and has posted some of the best offensive numbers of any college player in the country. He was hitting .482 with 9 HRs, 20 doubles and 10 SBs through the end of March. Davis has solid above average speed (6.7 second 60) and arm strength (has thrown as fast as 88 mph off of the mound - though his throwing mechanics need some work).
2012: .440/.514/.766/1.280 AB=218, ISOp=.326, 2B=27, 3B=1, HR=14, BB=31 (12.1%), SB=14/16 (87.5%)
Chase DeJong: RHP, Wilson HS, Long Beach, CA (6'5", 190) DOB=12/29/93
Ranked the #87 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's got a very projectable frame and the arm strength to touch 94 mph with his FB this spring. I'm not a big fan of his mechanics, but, on the other hand, you could say that if he's been able to do this much with his current mechanics then a good pitching coach could be able to get a lot more out of him if his mechanical tweaks take hold.
VID1: live game - http://www.bbprospectreport.com/2012/05/07/chase-dejong-video#more-15886
Zach Eflin: RHP, Hagerty HS, Chuluota, FL (6'5", 200) DOB=4/8/94
He was ranked as the 65th overall draft prospect by Baseball America back in February, and leaped up to #31 in their mid-May rankings. He has always been seen as a promising potential talent with a projectable body, but he didn't start topping the 90 mph mark on a regular basis in his starts until the summer of 2011. He seemingly improved in all of his appearances last summer and continued the trend in his several Fall 2011 appearances. This year he started the 2012 HS season with even more velocity gains and quickly climbed up most draft boards. His fastball sat comfortably in the low-90s, and he was consistently touching 94-95 mph. He also showed above-average movement on his FB. His changeup can already considered a fringe-plus pitch, and he has an advanced feel for it. His breaking ball can often be a bit slurvy, so the team that drafts him should consider switching him to a slider. He throws all three of his pitches for strikes with a good downhill plane. If not for the tendenitis in his tricep that forced him to miss 5 weeks of the season in April and May, we would likely be seeing talk of Eflin being drafted in the #10 to #15 overall spots. In reviewing his video clips, I have to say that I do like the mechanics of his delivery. It's simple and relatively compact, and he does a good job of staying on top of the ball to get a consistent downward plane on his pitches. I like that he throws from a slot that is much closer to straight over top than 3-quarters. He does need to get more consistent with his release point and his landings, but what HS pitcher doesn't? I'd also like to see him get more drive and energy from is lower body. Here's PerfectGame's scouting report on him from June 2011:
"Zach Eflin is a 2012 RHP/1B with a 6-5 190 lb. frame from Chuluota, FL who attends Hagerty HS. Tall angular build, projects to get stronger. Slow paced low handed delivery, high 3/4's arm slot, tends to fall off on release, can improve balance. Upper 80's fastball topped out at 89 mph, mostly straight, nice change up with arm speed, deception and late life, hand position curveball with short consistent break, tends to change release point on curveball. Throws strikes and has an idea how to pitch. Should keep improving."
Here's what BA's Conor Glassey wrote about him after seeing him throw in the Area Code Showcase back in August:
"Righthander Zach Eflin from Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla. pounded the bottom of the strike zone with his 89-91 mph fastball this morning. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Central Florida recruit showed good body control and mixed in a 74 mph curveball with 11-5 break, as well as a 79-80 mph changeup." Univ. of Central Fla. commit.
UPDATE1: Eflin has been held out of pitching since the middle of April with what has been described by his coach as triceps tendinitis. He also said that Eflin had an MRI on the elbow during the end of April and the results came back clean. Eflin did throw a bullpen session during the 1st week in May and is currently scheduled to pitch in for his HS team in the 2nd round of the state playoffs on May 10th or 11th if his team advances with a win in the first round on May 3rd.
UPDATE2: Eflin did indeed pitch 3 innings for Hagerty on May 8th, giving up two hits, but his team lost and their season is over. Eflin is scheduled to pitch during Florida's high school all-star weekend in Sebring, Fla. this Memorial Day Weekend. His HS coach said that Eflin threw well considering he had not faced live hitters since the end of March, and that "he sat 91-92 (mph) and peaked at 94 multiple times." Godwin added that "He showed his plus changeup and good command. His breaking ball is coming along. It was at its best in the third."
UPDATE3: Eflin did indeed pitch well last weekend at the Sebring Showcase. He threw pain-free, sitting comfortably in the low-90s with his FB and showing off his promising hard curveball. I think that most teams will now feel comfortable with drafting him where they had him ranked back in the middle of April - before the layoff.
VID 1: live game - Oct 2011 - WWBA Championships: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnMI4U07aPs
George (Buck) Farmer: RHP, Georgia Tech (6'3", 230) DOB=2/20/91
He was ranked as the 92nd overall draft prospect by BA back in February, but slipped to #117 in their final mid-May rankings. He's a big-boned and beefy pitcher in the Seth Rosin workhorse mode. Throws a good FB and CB with an excellent changeup. His FB sits in the 90-91 mph range and touches 94. He has a simple and repeatable delivery, but I don't like the Tim Alderson-like kick that he does with his front leg or how he lands his front foot and throws across his left leg. Named #2 prospect in the 2010 Coastal Plain Summer League and #20 prospect in the 2011 Cape Cod Summer League by Baseball America. Had 106 Ks and 31 BBs in 108.1 innings (across 16 starts) as the #3 starter for Ga. Tech in 2011. From a PG.com (Kendall Rogers) tweet on March 7th: "From #GeorgiaTech pitching coach Tom Kinkelaar this morning, both Buck Farmer and Matt Grimes have been up to 94 this spring."
2012: IP=99.2, K=110, K/9=9.9, BB=34, BB/9=3.1, K/BB=3.2, H/9=8.4, WHIP=1.27, BABIP=.313, BAA=.245
VID1: live game - July 2011 CCL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn2eFxuORXQ
VID2: Post-game interview - June 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgSp_KeHEN4
Nolan Fontana: SS LHH (throws RH), Univ. of Florida (5'11" 190) DOB=7/6/91
Ranked the #46 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Will stick at SS in the pros, only question is his bat. Fontana has great bloodlines. His maternal grandfather was the great pitcher of the '50s and '60s (mainly with the Braves), Lew Burdette - 1957 World Series MVP. Burdette actually lived with Fontana and his family during the last 6 years of his life, starting when Nolan was 10 years old.
'12: .280/.398/.464/.862, AB=207, ISOp=.184, 1B=39, 2B=9, 3B=1, HR=9, BB=40 (15.5%), K=23 (8.9%), wOBA=.384
Jason Forjet, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. (6'1", 175) DOB=1/4/90
Forjet is a senior pitcher who is a late-bloomer with a lot of hidden potential. He has a smooth and seemingly low-effort delivery that can fool a hitter and make his pitches appear to be faster than the radar gun actually shows. He also hides the ball from the hitter very well prior to release, so that also makes his pitches deceptively fast. His FB sits 90-91 mph and touches 93. His average arm speed and slow windup makes his FB seem to rush up on a hitter from out of nowhere. He gets good late movement on it and he has a little hop on his 4-seamer that allows him to throw it up in the zone and still get away with it. He also showed me a consistent effort and ability to pitch inside to both LH and RH hitters - with good success. He has also has a SL, CH and Splitter in his repertoire which are all above-average, but inconsistent. His slider is his best and most consistent pitch after his FB, but it still doesn't have the tight late break that you see in the best sliders. He has a little trouble repeating his delivery and release point, so I think that a good pitching coach could work with him to get a bit more velocity and even better command-and-control in the pros. He's quite lean, but appears athletic and sturdy on the diamond. Would be a good sleeper pick starting in the 5th round, IMO, as a team should be able to use his senior status to get him to sign for an underslot bonus. He was a teammate of the Giants' own Ray Black last summer (for Brainerd in the Northwoods League), so the Giants should have a good source of inside info on him. He was one of the top starters in the Northwoods League, named to the All-Star team and compiled top stats across many ptiching categories, including Ks, BBs and runs-allowed. I think that Forjet would be a nice pickup for the Giants after the 9th round.
'12: IP=86.2, K=72, K/9=7.5, BB=20, BB/9=2.1, K/BB=3.6, H/9=8.9, WHIP=1.22, BABIP=.320, BAA=.259
Justin Garza: RHP, Bonita HS, Ontario, CA (5'9", 160) DOB=3/20/94
Ranked the #130 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's listed as 5'10", but he's probably only 5'9", so he'll get docked for his lack of size. What you can't dock him on is his arm speed, smooth and low-effort delivery, and a FB that touches 94 mph and sits in the low-90s. He throws strikes, throws downhill, isn't afraid to throw inside, and has 3 other at leat average pitches besides the FB - a sharp curve, a hard-breaking slider and change that he shows a good feel for. If Garza was over 6 feet tall we'd likely be hearing him touted as a top 50 pick. If sone team is able to sign him away from Fullerton there going to be getting a real steal. Cal State Fullerton commit.
Adam Giacalone: 1B/RHP, Neosho JuCo, Kansas (6'1", 200) DOB=//9
Ranked the #464 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Giacalane hit .396 with 18 HRs and went 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA as a freshman for Neosho in 2011. This year he has continued to be one of the best 2-way JuCo players in the nation as he compiled a .396 batting average with 12 HRs and went 8-3 as a starter. On the mound, he's a strong believer in letting the other team hit the ball and not giving up any free passes - ending up averaging almost 1 hit per inning, but barely over 0.4 BBs per 9 innings. Univ. of Tennessee commit. Giacalone is a guy that I would like the Giants to consider beginning with their 4th round pick.
2012 (pitch): IP=95.2, K=88, K/9=8.3, BB=7, BB/9=.66, K/BB=12.6, H=95, H/9=8.9, WHIP=1.07, ERA=2.45
2012 (hit): .396/.521/.754/1.275 AB=187, ISOp=.258, 2B=25, 3B=3, HR=12, BB=45 (18.8%), K=??
Nick Goody: RHP, LSU (5'11", 200) DOB=7/6/91
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Goody has excelled as the closer for LSU this season. He's still kind of feeling his way on the mound as he only converted to pitching full time just prior to his 2011 season for a small JuCo in the Tampa, Florida area. In his first season pitching (as a sophomore), Goody pitched 84 innings with K=114, K/9=12.2, BB=33 and a 1.29 ERA. He was named the 2011 Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year and earned JUCO All-America honors. After that auspicious debut, he was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft by the Yankees, but decided to enroll at LSU for the 2012 season instead of signing. Goody has a beefy and solidly-built body and a motion that is a bit herky-jerky prior to delivery. He throws his FB in the 89-92 range, can touch 94, and gets tight spin on a promising slider. He does a good job of staying on top of the ball and throwing in a downward plane. He's definitely a candidate to move back to the starting rotation to see if he can develop a good offspeed pitch to allow him to be successful in the pros. He does show that he has very good control - allowing only 3 BBs in 29 innings. Goody is a guy that I would like the Giants to consider beginning with their 4th round pick.
2012: IP=29, K=39, K/9=12.1, BB=3, BB/9=0.9, K/BB=13, H/9=6.8, WHIP=.86, BABIP=.308, BAA=.208
Mitchell Gueller: RHP, W.F. West HS, Rochester, WA (6'3", 205) DOB=11/10/93
Ranked the #107 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Gueller is very athletic and probably the most polished and accomplished 2-way HS prospect in the draft behind Carson Kelly, Joey Gallo, and Max Fried. Gueller also has an intriguing power bat and plus arm that makes him a very highly-rated prospect as a RFer. The main thing that sets him apart from most of his HS pitching peers, and that allowed him to leap up many draft boards this spring, is his ability to keep his mid-90s velocity deep into his starts. Here's a blurp that PG.com wrote on Gueller back in the middle of April:
"...Mitchell Gueller is moving up fast draft boards this spring with a promising arm. He has been throwing 92-96 with the ability to maintain that velocity through an entire start. Scouts, crosscheckers, scout directors and even higher have been getting in to see the 6-3/205 athlete throw, and is generating legitimate early round interest, as some already consider him the top prep RHP (he is also has 5-tool potential as an OF) on the West Coast (outside of Lucas Giolito)."
Washington State Univ. commit.
Eric Hanhold: RHP, East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL (6'5", 180) DOB= 11/1/93
Projectable frame, high waist, lean with long arms and legs. Pitching for the elite Orlando Baseball Academy in the summer of 2010 (as a 16 year old) he compiled a 2-1 record in 8 starts, with 2 complete games and 36 K's in 33.1 innings. As a skinny starter in 2011 (his junior season), he was 9-2 with 51 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA with a FB that sat around 85-86 mph. Once the season ended he committed himself to a rigorous offseason weight-training and exercise program. He put on about 20 pounds in 4 months and was able to increase his velo to between 90 and 92 mph in the Fall 2011 showcase games. Hanhold's mechanics could benefit from some major tweaks - mostly to do with his lower body. Right now he doesn't get much leg drive and lands on a very stiff front leg that causes some recoil and resistance to his forward motion. If he can throw this fast with his current mechanics then I kind of drool over what he could do with a smoother and more efficient delivery. PG.com tweet (from middle of March): "Heard Eric Hanhold (2012 East Lake HS, FL) #floridagators commit was consistently 91-93, touched 95 on some guns last gm."
Hanhold definitely helped his case with the work he did in front of scores of scouts during the annual Sebring All-Star Classic in Florida this past Memorial Day weekend. Here's how 1 scout described him at the event: "Hanhold has a projectable body at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and featured good present stuff. He was up to 92-93 mph with his fastball and showed a good breaking ball."
A 2nd scout had this to say: "In the first inning his stuff was as good as it’s ever been. He had plane and repeated out in front. He had a good feel for what he was doing.”
Univ. of Florida commit.
Mitch Haniger: CF, RHH, Cal Poly-SLO Univ. (6'2", 215) DOB=12/23/90
Ranked the #42 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Haniger is an athletic and improving sleeper. He has plus potential power, an above average arm, and plays above average defense in RF (he's actually so good that they moved him to CF this year to fill a hole in their lineup). Haniger graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, where he was also a star wide receiver on the football team and was recruited to play football at the collegiate level by several major college programs. He was rated the #72 overall prospect in his high school class by Baseball America before the 2009 draft, but he wasn't drafted until the 31st round (by the Mets), so he must have been very committed to going to college and/or asking for a ton of money. Haniger was an instant success in his freshman year where he hitting .326/.386/.539 in 178 ABs. He went on to play in the West Coast Baseball League during the summer of 2010 - ending up being named the #5 overall prospect in the league by Baseball America. Here's what BA's Conor Glassey wrote about Haniger back in Sept. 2010:
"Haniger doesn't run quite as well as you'd expect from a former wide receiver, as he's only an average runner, at best. But he does get good jumps on balls and profiles as an everyday right fielder because of his impressive arm strength and raw power. Although he only struck out 13 times over 134 at-bats this summer, Haniger's pure hitting ability is fringy. He has quick hands and the bat speed to get around on big league velocity. If everything clicks, he has the power to hit 20 home runs at the next level."
Haniger had a somewhat disappointing sophomore season in college and played in the Northwoods League during the summer of 2011, where he hit .277 with 5 HRs. Baseball America named him the #3 prospect in the entire league at the end of their season. Haniger was rated as the #207th overall 2012 draft prospect by PerfectGame back in February, so he's not unkown. He has quietly put together a very good offensive season at the plate for Cal Poly this year, with some of his best performances coming against the best teams on the schedule. Haniger is similar to Joe Panik at the plate, in that he doesn't strike out much and he walks at about the same rate as he strikes out, but he has a lot more power than Panik and projects to develop even more power going forward.
'12: .342/.434/.618/1.052, AB=199, ISOp=.276, 1B=38, 2B=17, 3B=1, HR=12, BB=34 (14%), K=32 (13.2%), wOBA=.453
Courtney Hawkins: RF, RHH, Carrol HS, Corpus Christi, TX (6'2", 210) DOB=11/12/93
Hawkins was ranked the #38 overall prospect by Baseball America back in February, and he jumped all the way to #15 in their mid-May rankings. He pitches well enough to be considered a top 50 pitching prospect, but he will surely be drafted as a position player due to his plus power and 4 tool athleticism. His FB has touched 93 mph and his throws from RF have been clocked at 91 mph, so he has the plus arm to play RF. He's also run the 60 in 6.6 seconds, so he has the speed to cover a lot of ground and be a well above-average base runner. The ball jumps off his bat like few other high school hitters. He is also a fierce competitor who hates to lose and usually shines in the big games and high pressure situations. He's a 4 year starter on his high school team that has been a perennial national power since his freshman year at school. He led his HS team to the Texas 5A state championship as a sophomore (they lost in the semifinal game at the end of his junior season) and he's been a fixture on the national amateur baseball summer and fall circuits since 2009 so he's pretty much a tested quantity. As a HS junior he hit .410 with 15 homers, 49 RBIs and 22 stolen bases and was 10-2 with a 2.35 ERA and 81 Ks. Hawkins is a multi-talented athlete who had the chance to be one of the top DB/WR/RB football recruits in the state of Texas had he not quit playing football to concentrate on baseball after his freshman year. I'm not a big fan of some of his hitting mechanics. He has way too much hand movement pre-swing and his setup causes him to take extra time to get his hands back into his initial swing position. He also strides way too much during his swing. He's got the strong hands and strong build that should allow him to hit for plus power without having to take such an aggressive stride and leave himself susceptible to offspeed and breaking pitches. Finally, he's a bit old for his HS class, which is a negative mark in my book, but not so much that it's stands out as a big red flag. On the plus side, how can you not want to draft a guy that can do a standing backflip in full uniform (see 3rd vid clip below)? Here's what the PerfectGame evaluator wrote about him after seeing him at a national showcase weekend in June 2011:
"Big well proportioned build, extremely strong. 6.62 runner, aggressive paths in the outfield, strong arm, footwork raw but has solid right field tools. Right handed hitter, pull back load, busy hands, big stride, will lunge at the ball, very aggressive swing, very good raw bat speed, ball jumps hard on contact, plus power potential, will continue to improve with better balance and repetitions."
Here's what Nathan Rode of BA wrote about Hawkins after seeing him play in the WWBC in Florida during October 2011:
"In an event where few hitters have stood out, it has been impossible to ignore outfielder Courtney Hawkins of Carroll High in Corpus Christi, Texas. Playing for the Houston Banditos, Hawkins looks the part with a physique similar to that of an NFL strong safety at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. He leverages his strength with good bat speed allowing for plus power potential. Over the last two days, Hawkins showed the ability to drive the ball to all fields including an opposite-field home run in Saturday's final set of games. In the field, Hawkins combines plus speed with solid instincts in center field while showing the ability to cover significant ground on balls in the gap. Possessing an arm which has hit 91 mph on the mound, Hawkins showed it off while limiting runners from taking the extra base on several occasions. Although he is raw and his aggressive approach is occasionally vulnerable to quality offspeed stuff, Hawkins' set of tools combine for a very intriguing package."
Univ. of Texas commit.
VID1: Live AB - June 2010 - Tournament of Stars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mMGLGGcEB0
VID2: BP + Live AB - Aug 2011 - PG All-American Classic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeUAgnvK4Kg&feature=related
VID3: Standing backflip - March 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFkSSNQiqk4&feature=youtu.be
Andrew Heaney: LHP, Okl. St. Univ., (6'2", 175) DOB=6/5/91
He was ranked as the 45th overall draft prospect by BA back in February, and he jumped up all the way to #17 in their mid-May rankings. Very good arm speed, but I don't love his mechanics. He gets almost all of his power from his shoulder and arm and gets almost no input from his lower body movement. He throws from a low 3/4s arm slot and just a bit across his body. He seems to put a lot of stress on his shoulder and arm with a less than ideal follow-through after he releases the ball - leading to a rather sudden deceleration of his arm motion. He reportedly has good command of 3 pitches (FB, CB, CH). His FB sits 90-91 mph and can touch 93 at the beginning of his starts, but he often drops both those numbers by 3-4 mph in the middle innings of many of his starts. He pitched very well in the 2011 Cape Cod League (ended up being named the #17 overall prospect in the league by BA) after an inconsistent college sophomore season. I think that Heaney is going to be one of the guys that gains a bunch of spots due to his performance in the 2012 college season.
2012: IP=118.3, K=140, K/9=10.7, BB=22, BB/9=1.7, K/BB=6.4, H/9=5.6, WHIP=.81, BABIP=.261, BAA=.180
Ty Hensley: RHP, Santa Fe HS, Edmond, OK (6'5", 220) DOB=7/30/93
He was ranked as the #41 overall draft prospect by BA back in February, and moved up to #23 overall in their mid-May rankings. Converted from catcher to pitcher at the start of the 2010 high school season. Former teammate of current Giants minor leaguer Clayton Blackburn, and he has a very similar delivery and mechanics as Blackburn does. One huge red flag - he's very old for his HS class. He'll turn 19 eight weeks after the June draft. Another major thing that I don't like about Hensley is his delivery mechanics. Pay close attention in the 2 vid clips below to where he lands with his front foot in comparison to the line between home plate and hth pitcher's mound. You'll see that he lands well to the 3rd-base side of the line and so he has to throw across his leg and his body. That's not a good recipe for long-term velocity and arm health. In the first clip below you'll also see Nick Travieso pitching in the same event. Watch how Travieso's foot lands in-line to his motion towards the plate and how it frees him to convert all of his energy into throwing the ball to the target. PG.com tweet (from middle of March):
"Ty Hensley line: 5 IP (CG) 13 K, 1 BB, 0 H on 74 pitches. No FB below 90, topped 95, hit 94 in 5th, 78 CB. Also went 2-for-2 at plate with a HR"
Univ. of Miss. commit.
VID1: Live game - Under Armour AA game - Aug. 2011: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/05/draft-videos-ty-hensley-and-nick-travieso/
VID: Live game - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=29113154&content_id=21666351
Kurt Heyer: RHP, Univ. of AZ, (6'2", 210) DOB=1/23/91
Heyer has terrific sink on his fastball, which allowed him to keep the ball in the yard quite well despite pitching many games in the thin Tucson air of the Univ. of AZ campus. He only allowed 5 homers and 25 XBH’s in his 19 2011 regular season starts. He had 109 Ks and only 29 BBs (WHIP=1.24) as a freshman starter (16 games) for Arizona in 2010. He followed that up with 134 Ks against only 26 BBs (WHIP=1.07) in 138.1 innings and 20 starts during his 2011 sophomore season. Here's how one amateur evaluator described Heyer back in June 2011:
"Heyer’s fastball works in the low to mid-90’s with good arm-side run and sink. His slider has decent tilt and projects as a 60 pitch in the pro’s. His changeup is behind (the level of his FB and SL), but it still has a chance at a solid-average grading come next June. Heyer’s command and ability to keep the ball on the ground are terrific. His body projects well at 6’2” and 198 lbs. With an arm slot in the low to mid-3/4 range and a strong lower half, there are no obvious red flags in his delivery."
2012: IP=110.2, K=89, K/9=7.2, BB=17, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=5.2, H/9=8.9, WHIP=1.14, BABIP=.318, BAA=.255
VID 1: Warmups - June 2011 - Cape Cod League: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGR7vkVXncs
Chris (C.J.) Hinojosa: SS/2B, RHH, (5'9", 180) DOB=7/15/94
Ranked the #70 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Hinojosa is out until late June or early July after dislocating his left shoulder during the last week of March. He will have surgery in April. It looks like the shoulder issue will be a long-term concern for Hinojosa, because of the severity of the injury and the fact that this is the 2nd or 3rd time that he's had an issue with that shoulder popping out. I don't see any way that he's drafted this year.
Univ. of Texas commit
Dalton (D.J.) Hicks: 1B, LHH (throws RH), Univ. of Central Fla. (6'5", 250) DOB=4/2/90
Some evaluators describe him as a poor man's C.J. Cron due to his size, natural hitting ability, slow footspeed and defensive limitations. Hicks is a big guy with a big frame, but he's not overweight, flabby or out of shape. He's a redshirt junior, so he's a year older than his college class. The Giants actually drafted him in the 49th round of the 2008 draft, so they are familiar with him and like his abilities. Hicks is likely never going to be anything more than an average defender at 1B, and might be better suited in an American League org where he wouldn't have to play in the field. Hicks did not wow them in his Cape Cod League debut during the summer of 2011 (.232/.319/.437/756 with K-19%), although he did manage to pound out 7 HRs.
'09: .301/.389/.516/.905 .. AB=153, ISOp=.215, H=46, 2B=9, 3B=0, HR=8, BB=20 (11.4%), K=32 (18.3%)
'11: .351/.428/.596/.1011 .. AB=228, ISOp=.245, H=80, 2B=11, 3B=0, HR=14, BB=35 (12.9%), K=49 (18%)
'12: .325/.439/.547/.986, AB=203, ISOp=.222, H=66, 2B=12, 3B=0, HR=11, BB=48 (18.3%), K=46 (17.6%), wOBA=.438
Chad Hollingsworth: RHP, Robinson HS, Waco, TX (6'2", 200) DOB=12/9/93
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's been on the national baseball summer circuit since he was 14 years old. He was topping out at 90 mph during the summer of 2011 as a 17 year old and the consensus opinion at the Area Code Games was that Hollingsworth didn’t show good enough with his off-speed pitches or pitchability to be considered 1st round pick in the 2012 draft. He then went out and put on about 15 pounds (with no significant gain in height) during this past fall and winter and now he's topping out at 93 mph during the 2012 high school season. Here's how the Texas asst. coach described him after he committed to Texas in Nov. 2011:
"Chad is a big, strong right-hander with a hard sinker, and he gets a lot of ground balls with a 92 mph sinker."
In the first round of the NHSI Tournament during the last week of March "Chad Hollingsworth from Robinson HS in Texas was 91-93 mph in a 2 hit shutout with 12 Ks."
Univ. of Texas commit.
Travis Jankowski: LHH (throws RH), CF, Stony Brook Uni., (6'2", 190) DOB=6/15/91
Ranked the #24 overall prospect in BaseballAmerica's Feb. 2012 preseason rankings, but he slipped to #68 in mid-May. I think he'll be drafted well before the #68th overall pick. Very fast runner (runs a 6.5 second 60 yard dash) with plus arm strength, and average power potential. He can stick in CF, but also has the arm to slide over to RF in the pros. He needs to change his mechanics and approach at the plate if he's going to add more power to his game. If not, he has the patience, batting eye, hit tool and speed to be a high OBP leadoff hitter. He's a sleeper guy for the Giants to target in the 1st round (they love guys that perform well in the Cape Cod League) or as a 2nd round steal. Selected to Golden Spikes 50-man preseason watch list on Feb. 16, named preseason third team All-American by NCBWA, named preseason All-American by Baseball America & Perfect Game USA. Named MVP of the 2011 Cape Cod Summer League - hit .329 with 22 RBI and 15 steals while leading the CCL in hits (57), runs (31), and triples (7). As a sophomore in college, Travis did not make an error in 115 chances while making 53 starts in CF and set a Stony Brook single season record for steals by going 30-for-34. BA in-game scouting report March 2012: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/03/game-report-travis-jankowski/
2012: .407/.473/.627/1.099, AB=209, ISOp=.220, 1B=56, 2B=16, 3B=9, HR=4, BB=19 (7.9%), K=16 (6.7%), wOBA=.474
VID1: Aug. 2011 - highlights and story from CCL - http://llleaguesports.com/video-travis-jankowski/4271/
VID2: Aug. 2011 - live AB from CCL ASG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKsXAsIJdnM
Zack Jemiola: RHP, Great Oak HS, Temecula, CA (6'3", 200) DOB=4/6/94
A short-arm delivery with repeatability and mechanical issues, but he's a big, strong kid that already comfortably throws a 91-93 mph heavy FB.
Pierce Johnson: RHP, Missouri St. Univ. (6'3", 180) DOB=5/10/91
Ranked the #32 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Selected in the 15th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by Tampa Bay, was reported to be throwing in the low-90s with excellent controls as a high school senior, but he fell in the draft after sitting out 2 months of his final season when he broke his hand while trying to field a ball hit up the middle . He went 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 42.2 innings for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2010. In the summer of 2011 he returned to the CCL, but a knee injury shortened his season to 12.1 innings. He posted a 4.38 ERA with 8 Ks. This season his FB has been sitting in the 92-93 mph range and touching 95. One of the reasons that he has been so successful this season is that he's been able to keep his velocity deep into games - reportedly still hitting 94 mph in the 8th inning of at least 1 game at the end of March. Here's how one anonymous big league scout described his repertoire back in March:
"a fastball that’s in the low 90s, a “plus” changeup and sharp-breaking slider."
Tweet from his 3/23 start against Arkansas: "MissouriState P Pierce Johnson struck out 16 and allowed just five hits in a CG, 3-0 win over #Creighton. He threw 124 pitches, 92 of them for strikes"
2012: IP=83.2, K=100, K/9=10.8, BB=25, BB/9=2.7, K/BB=4, H/9=7.5, WHIP=1.14, BABIP=.357, BAA=.237
Cory Jones: RHP, College of the Canyons JuCo, CA (6'4", 200) DOB=9/20/91
Jones is a sophomore who features a prototypical pitchers frame and a FB that consistently hits 93-95 mph. In his 3rd start of the season he dominated Orange Coast College, one of the best JuCos in the nation in a 4-1 win. Jones allowed only a walk and two IF singles while recording 10 Ks in eight innings of work. Jones finished the season with a 7-0 mark in 11 starts. He's already a big guy, so you're unlikely to get any more physical projection out of him. He's also in need of refining his control of the strike zone. Could easily end up in the pen as a closer or setup guy.
'12: IP=61.1, K=89, K/9=13.1, BB=38, BB/9=5.6, K/BB=2.3, H=49, H/9=7.2, WHIP=1.42, ERA=2.64
Zack Jones: RHP, San Jose St. Univ. (6'1", 180) DOB-12/4/90
Ranked the #199 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. The Giants have reportedly worked this guy out in front of several scouts, Barr and others in the past week. Seems like he fits really well into my proposed category of cheapish power-armed college relievers that the Giants could draft after the 4th round and try to convert to a strater (I do realize that he did start 8 games this season).
2012: IP=54, K=60, K/9=10, BB=17, BB/9=2.8, K/BB=3.5, H/9=8.5, WHIP=1.26, BABIP=.345, BAA=.2524
Carson Kelly: 3B/RHP, Westview HS, Portland, OR (6'2", 200) DOB=7/14/94
Ranked the #43 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Kelly is a prospect with the bat as well as on the mound. He has a plus arm - throwing his FB up to 92 mph during the summer of 2011 - making him intriguing as a 3B. He is a very good athlete, although his speed is only slightly above-average (7.1 seconds in the 60). He has a strong, but still projectable, build with sloping shoulders. News on Kelly has been quiet this spring as other HS prospects in warmer climes have been hyped, but he has a history of performing well against the highest level of competition on the summer showcase circuit in the past few years. I'd draft Kelly as a 3B, because of his present (and projected) power and hit tool and my belief that he will be able to stick at 3B defensively in the pros. He needs to fix the mechanics of his throws on the infield, but that's just a matter of coaching and practice, as he has the arm strength. If he fails as a hitter, a team can always have him toe the rubber. Here's a PG scouting profile of him after seeing him play in a showcase event back in June 2011:
"Carson Kelly is a 2012 3B/RHP with a 6-2 200 lb. frame from Portland, OR who attends Westview HS. Square shouldered athletic build, very good present strength. Good hitting rhythm, simple hitting mechanics, quick and strong to the ball, line drive swing but flashes pull power and lift, drives the gaps, ball comes off the barrel hard, very good bat speed. Strong infield arm, compact release, good balance, feet work well, hands fair but playable at present. Also pitched, quick 6-pitch inning, steady 91-92 mph fastball, straight, sound delivery mechanics, high 3/4's release, showed nice sink on one change up, has shown good 77 mph CB in the past, want to see more of off the mound but potential top level prospect there as well. High ceiling talent, good student."
Univ. of Oregon commit.
Vid1: BP - Area Code Games - Sept. 2011 in Los Angeles - http://www.bbprospectreport.com/2012/03/29/carson-kelly-video#more-15668
Vid3: IF drills, live ABs - Summer + fall 2011 - http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/05/draft-video-carson-kelly/
Patrick Kivlehan: 3B, RHH, Rutgers Univ. (6'2", 210) DOB=12/22/89
Ranked the #240 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Kivlehan is a 4th-year senior (but he has 1 more year of baseball eligibility left) who played football at Rutgers for 4 seasons and only tried out for the baseball team at the beginning of 2012. Not only did he make the team, but he preceded to hit .390 with 14 HRs and steal 24 bases to end up being named the Big East Player of the Year award. Needless to say, he's extremely athletic (he started 3 seasons as a defensive back in the ultra-competitive Big East Conference) and a quick learner (he hasn't played competitive baseball since his senior year in high school). He has fringe-plus speed - running the 40 yard in as low as 4.54 seconds. He's got a great build for a 3B and the big, sloping shoulders that you like to see in a power hitter. I look at him as a possible steal starting in the 3rd round. On a sour note, like most players that spend 4 years in college, Kivlehan is already 22 years old and is starting out a full year older than his college draft class.
'12: .390/.478/.695/1.173 in 187 AB, ISOp=.305, wOBA=.500, 1B=46, 2B=11, 3B=2, HR=14, BB=21 (9.3%), K=39 (17.2%), SB=24 of 28
VID1: live ABs - spring 2012 - http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/rutgers/2012/05/16/video-kivlehan-blasts-big-east-leading-13th-hr-in-rutgers-baseball-defeat/
VID2: live ABs with voiceover - spring 2012 - http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/rutgers/2012/05/22/video-kivlehan-honored-as-big-east-player-of-the-year/
VID3: Q & A - May 2012 - http://www.scarletknights.com/rvision.asp
Tanner Krietemeier: RF/RHP (SWH), Iowa Western JuCo, Council Bluffs, IA (6'2", 190) DOB=5/11/92
Krietemeier, a Univ. of Nebraska transfer, has been dominant on both sides of the ball for Iowa Western during his sophomore season. The switch-hitter posted a .430 batting average and hit 20 doubles, 2 triples and at least 6 HRs while also leading the team in stolen bases. On the mound, he was dominant while posting an 11-0 record as the team’s #1 starter. He played sparingly for Nebraska as a freshman, but has emerged as a legitimate two-way prospect for the draft this spring. Oklahoma State Univ. commit.
'12: IP=63, K=78, K/9=11.1, BB=17, BB/9=2.4, K/BB=4.6, H=42, WHIP=.94, ERA=1.57
Tyler Leslie: RHP, Barstow CC, Calif. (6'2", 210) DOB=10/27/92
Leslie was drafted out of HS by the Giants in the 15th round of last year's draft, but didn't sign. He was originally scheduled to join the Southern Nevada CC in Las Vegas, but for some reason he decided to stay closer to home and join the Barstow CC squad. Leslie has scuffled this year against lesser competition. He's been wild and very hittable, but the K-rate is decent. I don't know why he didn't sign last year - maybe he wanted more money than the Giants wanted to give him, maybe the Giants didn't like what they saw for him as they followed his workouts between the June draft and the mid-August signing deadline, or maybe the Giants only had so much money budgeted for a mid-round HS pitcher and when 16th rounder Clayton Blackburn accepted an offer then Leslie was out of luck? Regardless, the Giants did see something in him that they liked last year, and I have to imagine that his money demands are a lot lower this year, so he might be a guy the Giants go back to in the 2nd half of the draft as they look for some high-upside young arms.
2012: IP=58.2, K=57, K/9=8.7, BB=39, BB/9=6, K/BB=1.5, H=83, H/9=12.7, WHIP=2.08, ERA=6.60
Pat Light: RHP, Monmouth Univ., NC (6'6", 200) DOB=3/29/91
Selected as the #25 overall college draft prospect by BA back in December, but fell to #82 in their mid-May rankings. Light has an ideal build that is atheletic and still has some projection left in it. Besides the height, he has the long limbs, high waist and sloping shoulders that you want to see in a pitcher. Light throws from a low 3/4s arm slot, so he doesn't get to maximize the full benefit of his 6'6" height and doesn't always do a good job of staying on top of his pitches and getting the much desired downward plane. He has a fairly smooth and easy delivery and does a good job of using his legs and lower body to help him generate power in his pitches. He also does a good job of getting extension with his arm and finishing off his delivery in a smooth and easy manner. Light has gotten better in each of his 3 college seasons and continued to see velocity gains as he has grown physically and refined his mechanics. He is known for his well above average control, but this year he has also finally begun to strike out hitters at an above average rate - his k/9 is above the sought-after 9.0 mark for the first time in his college career. That has allowed him to post one of the top K/BB ratios (7.4) of any starting pitcher in college this season. His best pitch is his FB, which has been sitting comfortably in the 91-93 mph range and has consistently touched 95 and 96 this season. His only other reliable weapon is a much impoved, but still inconsistent, slider that he can lose control of and see it act more like a slurve. The improvemet of his slider this season is what most scouts point to in explaining his improved performance - most especially the improved K-rate. Hitters can no longer sit on his FB so he can keep them off-balance and guessing. His changeup is a split-finger pitch that flashes some promise at times, but that he doesn't have a very good feel for, doesn't exhibit consistently sufficient movement, and rarely throws in games. Light was drafted out of a New Jersey high school in the 29th round of the 2009 draft by the Twins, but chose to accept a scholarship offer from Monmouth instead. He pitched well in the New England Baseball League in the summer of 2010 and in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011 - where he was named the #18 overall prospect at the end of the season by BA.
UPDATE: Light struck out 15 batters without a BB in a game on 4/28.
'12: IP=101.1, H=84, K=102, K/9=9.1, BB=16, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=6.4, H/9=7.5, BABIP=.301, WHIP=.99
VID1: Live game - Monmouth vs. CC State - April 13th: http://bullpenbanter.com/index.php?limitstart=3
Blake Logan: RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State JuCo, OK (6'0", 225) DOB=1/12/92
Transferred to Eastern Okla. after one season with the Univ. of Arkansas team. Has a very good FB that tops out at 92 mph and has good movement. He also throws an above average slider and a changeup. He has compiled a 10-2 record with a 1.74 ERA, 111 Ks & 21 BBs over 83 innings in 16 games this season.
Wichita State Univ. commit.
Tim Lopes: 2B/SS, RHH, Edison HS, CA (5'10", 175) DOB=6/24/94
Ranked the #127 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Younger brother to Christian (signed by Toronto last year). One of the best and most polished middle infield defenders in the entire HS class. Not a great set of tools, but he's baseball smart and works hard at his craft.
VID: IF practice and live AB - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=29113154&content_id=21893541
Brandon Lopez: SS, RHH, American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL (6'1" 165) DOB=9/9/93
Ranked the #154 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Lopez hails from the same HS that produced Eric Hosmer and Deven Marrero in recent years. Lopez is a SS that projects to stick there in the pros. He has quick feet, smooth actions and a great arm that allows him to make plays that others wouldn't have a shot at. He has also been up to 91 mph on the mound. Lopez has a long and lean frame with wiry strength and some projection in it. He's a fast runner, athletic and has a lot of baseball smarts. On the negative side, Lopez turns 19 in September and is one of the older prospects in his HS class. He really should be finishing his freshman year in college right now.
Univ. of Miami commit.
VID1: IF practice and live AB - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=29113154&content_id=21919785
VID1: Live ABs - WWBA Championships, FL - Oct. 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rQLombTolE
VID2: Live highlights from FL high school game - March 2011 - http://sfhighschoolsports.com/video/spotlight-american-heritage-baseball-players-brandon-sedell-brandon-lopez
Austin Maddox: RHP, Univ. of Fla. (6'2", 225) DOB=5/13/91
He was ranked as the 99th overall draft prospect by BA back in February, but he fell to 119 in their mid-May rankings. He's a largely untapped talent as a pitcher (and I do believe that he'll be drafted as a pitcher) as he was mainly a 1B/DH during his first 2 college seasons at Florida. After a monster freshman season at the plate, he had a very disappointing sophomore season with the bat and in the field and was increasingly used as a closer in the 2nd half of the 2011 college season. As a closer he was mainly a brute force guy that threw about 90% fastballs. This college season he has returned with a well above-average slider (using a new grip) and a developing cut FB added to his previous mid-90s FB repertoire. He has been used as the top reliever out of the Florida pen and he has been stretched out beyond the typical 1 inning stint that most closers see in almost every one of his appearances and has gone 3.1 and 4 innings in 2 of his first 5 relief appearances. As a pitcher, he has a simple and easy delivery - getting a lot of drive and power from his legs and the lower half of his body.
'12: IP=50.1, H=33, K=54, K/9=9.7, BB=8, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=6.8, H/9=5.9, BABIP=.252, BAA=.269, WHIP=.81
Brett Mooneyham: LHP, Stanford (6'5", 215) DOB=1/24/90
He was ranked as the 100th overall draft prospect by BA back in February, but he fell to 119 in their mid-May rankings. He's old for his college class (he turned 22 back in January) as he redshirted his 2011 college season (when he would have been a junior) after he injured his hand just as the season was starting in Feburaury 2011. He has the stuff (FB that touches mid-90s, above average change up, and good breaking ball that could be great) to be a #1/#2 starter in the majors, but questions remain about his command & control and the consistency of his mechanics. As a freshman starter at Stanford he flashed very good stuff, but had very little control of his pitches - striking out 72 and walking 54 in 67.1 innings. From PG.com (Kendall Rogers) tweets on March 7th: "Just chatted w/ #Stanford LHP Brett Mooneyham. He said he was 90-91 in winter, keeps climbing. Hit 94 four times vs. #FresnoState. Stanford pitching coach Rusty Filter said big difference for Mooneyham is mechanical changes have equaled better command."
'12: IP=76.1, H=62, K=87, K/9=10.2, BB=34, BB/9=4, K/BB=2.6, H/9=7.3, BABIP=.308, WHIP=1.26
Tyler Naquin: LHH (throws RH), RF, Texas A&M (6'2", 170) DOB=4/24/91
He was ranked as the #30 overall draft prospect by BA back in February, and moved up to #25 in their mid-May rankings.
This kid can flat-out hit and uses the entire field when he comes to the plate. He's very athletic, fast and has a plus arm (with great accuracy). He doesn't have the swing or the natural strength to allow him to ever hit more than 15 HRs in a pro season, but what you're betting on with Naquin is that you're getting a poor man's Ichiro Suzuki. A guy that can hit over .300, get around 200 hits, hit a ton of doubles and triples, play great D in RF or CF and be a disruptive force on the basepaths year-in and year-out. He would be a bit of a gamble for the Giants at #20, as I believe that there's not much room for error with his toolset. Depending solely on how his hit tool translates at the major league level, he would either turn out to be seen as a big steal or an embarrassing reach, because if he can't hit over .300 he's likely not going to be anything more than an average CFer on a decent team.
'12: .373/.453/.539/.992 AB=217, ISOp=.166, 2B=15, 3B=6, HR=3, BB=24 (9.3%), K=33 (12.8%), wOBA=.439, SB=17/22 (77%)
Mitch Nay: 3B/OF, Hamilton HS, Chandler, AZ (6'3", 195) DOB=9/20/93
Ranked the #101 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Nay has the prototypical build and skills of the 3B that populated the majors in the '70s-'90s. He has the power and arm strength (91 mph off the mound) that you want to see in a HS 3B prospect, but questions remain about his hit tool. Nay has a compact swing that is quick to the ball and produces great power to all fields. His leg kick trigger is too aggressive, but that is something that is easily fixable. He is more athletic than some are giving him credit for, as he has run the 60 in as fast as 6.9 seconds, and he still plays a decent defensive SS in HS. Nay is a bit of a sleeper, but is starting to generate some late buzz as teams search for every and any power bat they can find in a sparse year. He could end up sneaking into the late first or 1S round or be a real steal if some team is able to draft and sign him away from ASU in the 2nd or 3rd round. Two red flags: (1) he's almost a full year older than his HS draft class (he should have graduated from HS last year); and (2) he popped his shoulder out of place while diving for a ball back in April of 2011. On the shoulder issue, he only sat out 1 week and I can't find out whether the injury was to his throwing or non-throwing shoulder, but those types of injuries don't tend to be a one-time deal for big-sized athletes like Nay. Ariz. State Univ. commit.
VID1: BP - summer 2010 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Py0uybrvlI
Peter O'Brien: C, RHH, Univ. of Miami, (6'5", 225) DOB=7/15/90
Ranked the #69 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's a 4th year senior so he's old for his draft class, but that should also make him signable for quite under slot at #84. Not likely to be a good defensive catcher going forward, but I think that he's athletic enough to play at least adequate defense in LF in the majors. I see his upside as being very similar to another catcher cnoverted to LF, Josh Willingham. O'Brien has that type of power profile and he also has a good enough batting eye and hit tool to not be just a K or HR guy in every AB. He did play in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2010 (after his sophomore season in college), but only got in 14 games and 42 ABs, so there's nothing much to be gleaned from those results. O'Brien was drafted in the 3rd round (#107 overall) of the 2011 draft by the Rockies, but was smart enough to know to turn them down (who wants to play for a team that has an insane purple dinosaur for a mascot?).
UPDATE: BA has this in-game scouting report and vid clip of O'Brien during a Miami game in March: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/03/game-report-miami-c-peter-obrien-with-video/
2009: .386/.451/.748/1.199, ISOp=.361, in 202 ABs, H=78, 2B=13, HR=20, BB=18 (7.9%), K=39 (17.0%)
2010: .304/.382/.557/.939, ISOp=.252 in 230 ABs, H=70, 2B=14, 3B=1, HR=14, BB=26 (9.7%), K=52 (19.4%)
'11: .354/.465/.677/1.143, ISOp=.304 in 127 ABs, H=45, 2B=11, HR=10, BB=23 (14.4%), K=21 (13.1%), wOBA=.486
Cameron Perkins: 3B, RHH, Purdue (6'5", 200) DOB=9/27/90
Ranked the #145 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Not a lot of visability on this guy, but good stats and he has some power, and he almost never strikes out. He played better against the top pitchers than his stats show, and he has a strong arm.
2012: .359/.407/.548/.955 AB=217, ISOp=.189, 2B=14, 3B=0, HR=9, BB=12 (4.9%), K=16 (6.5%), wOBA=.418
Nick Petree: RHP, Missouri State Univ. (6'1", 195) DOB=7/16/90
Petree is a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore - having sat out the 2010 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was a mid-80s FB velocity guy prior to the TJ, but the year after sitting out he was throwing his FB in the 88-90 mph range. He gained more velocity during the past offseason and entered the 2012 college season throwing in the 90-92 mph range. Early in the season he suffered a herniation in the forearm muscle of his pitching hand. His velocity has taken a hit because of it and he's been throwing mainly in the mid-80s ocassionally touching the upper-80s. It can be painful at times, but doctors say he can't hurt himself worse by pitching with it. It hasn't affected his stats so far, as Petree is currently working on a string of 64.1 innings without allowing an earned run (started on March 9th and has lasted through May 4th). He has been relying on his ability to get a lot of late movement on his FB and to locate all 4 of his pitches with great command. He also features a plus change-up, a good slider, and a cut FB. Petree pitched in the MINK Summer League after the 2011 college season ended (Mike Kickham pitched there in 2010), with encouraging results. In 5 starts he threw 26 innings - recording the following eye-popping stats: ERA=0.27, WHIP=0.88, K=33, K/9=11.4, BB=4, BB/9=1.4, K/BB=8.2.
'12: IP=107.1, H=79, K=109, K/9=9.1, BB=34, BB/9=2.9, K/BB=3.2, H/9=6.6, BABIP=.304, WHIP=1.05
Dane Phillips: C, LHH (throws RH), Oklahoma City Univ. (6'1", 195) DOB=12/18/90
Ranked the #77 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. A poor man's Mike Napoli? The hit tool is fringe-plus and should play in the pros, and he has well above average speed even for a corner OF (he ran a 6.7 sec. 60 yard as a HS senior), but questions about his arm strength and defensive abilities. He hit .670 with 16 HRs and 33 stolen bases in his senior year at an Oklahoma HS. Then started 51 of 54 games (47 at DH) as a true freshman for Oklahoma State University (with a .337/.413/.477/.890 stat line). He did even better in his sophomore season during 2011, then he played in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011, hitting .349 with 4HRs in 41 games. Even more impressively, he showed great patience and a good eye at the plate (BB=15.9% and K=17.8%) against the advanced competition. Out of the blue, he quit the OSU team following his sophomore season and tried to get a waiver to play for Arkansas in 2012. When the waiver fell through (meaning he would have to sit out the 2012 college season) he decided to transfer to Oklahoma City Univ. (a NAIA school) so that he could play in 2012 before being eligible to be drafted in June 2012. Phillips was the teammate of, and catcher for, current Giants minor league pitcher Chris Marlowe during the 2011 college season, so the Giants should have a good source on what type of character he has and how he is as a teammate and clubhouse presence.
2010: .337/.413/.477/.890 .. AB=193, ISOp=.140, H=65, 2B=14, 3B=2, HR=3, BB=24 (10.9%), K=41 (18.6%)
2011: .339/.391/.518/.909 .. AB=245, ISOp=.179, H=83, 2B=16, 3B=8, HR=4, BB=20 (7.4%), K=52 (19.3%)
CCL: .349/.446/.527/.973 .. AB=129, ISOp=.178, H=45, 2B=7, 3B=2, HR=4, BB=25 (15.9%), K=28 (17.8%)
VID1: Live ABs - CCL - July 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCmG1xq4enM
James Ramsey: CF/RF, LHH (throws RH), FSU (5'11", 190) DOB=12/19/89
Ranked the #51 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Ramsey was drafted in the round of last year's draft by , but chose to return to school for his senior year.
2012: .387/.536/.691/1.227 AB=191, ISOp=.304, 2B=10, 3B=6, HR=12, BB=52 (20.6%), K=35 (13.9%), wOBA=.519
Alec Rash: RHP, Adel-Desoto-Minburn HS, Adel, Iowa (6'5", 195) DOB=3/20/94
Ranked the #72 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Rash was a sleeper until about mid-season. Not only is he from a cold weather state in the midwest, but he hasn't been able to train for baseball much due to the fact that he's a very competitive basketball player for his HS team. Rash also has grown 2 inches and added 4-5 mph on his FB since the middle of last summer. For a guy that hasn't focused much on pitching, he shows some really nice things on the mound right now and his potential is very high due to the projectable frame, fast arm speed, and lack of innings and experience. I see one major thing that I don't like in his mechanics - he locks out his left knee in the straight leg position on his follow through. That's hard on his knee, hip and shoulder. A good pitching coach should be able to correct that and clean up a few other minor details (most noticeably getting more extension) to give him a more repeatable delivery and more velocity on his stuff. Rash has been throwing his FB in the 91-94 mph range this HS season (more 93s than 91s) and a slurve in the 78-80 range. He has shown promising feel for a changeup that he throws in the low 80s, but he rarely uses it. Here's what PerfectGame.com wrote about Rash after seeing him in the PG Indoor Showcase back in Feb. 2012:
"Tall loose athletic build, room to fill out. Simple turn and throw delivery, compact 3/4's release point, hides ball well, very fast arm coming through. Steady low 90's fastball, more 93's than 91's, fastball heavy with good sink, explodes on hitters, stays down in zone with FB, maintains velocity from stretch + well. Nice change up with arm speed and hard sink could use more often. Stuck between curveball and slider this outing, flashes quality spin but inconsistent spin/shape. basketball player, may not even be in pitching shape. High ceiling talent who could be premium draft pick."
Kendall Rogers of PG.com tweeted the following about Rash's performance at the PG pre-draft showcase during the middle of May:
"#Mizzou commit from today's pre-draft showcase. RHP Alec Rash (IA) 93-95 mph with a solid 84 mph slider."
Univ. of Iowa commit.
VID1: live game - April 2012 - PG Spring Showcase - Cedar Rapids, IA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBzncOIvceA
VID2: Basketball highlights - 2012 high school season (Rash is #33): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4PuYCtZCYI
Victor Roache: RHH, RF, Georgia So. Univ., (6'2", 175) DOB=9/17/91
He was ranked as the 9th overall draft prospect by BA back in February, but slipped to #22 in their mid-May rankings.
He gets extra points in my book for being one of the youngest guys in his college class (he won't turn 21 until after the minor league season ends. Broke a bone in his left hand and sprained some ligaments in his left wrist trying to make a diving catch in a game on Feb. 24th. He had the hand operated on the following week and should be out until at least the middle of May, if not the rest of the college season. He's the premiere power-hitting college bat in the draft and he knows how to take a walk. Some still question his pitch recognition and say that he's susceptible to offspeed breaking balls.
UPDATE: Roache got his cast off on April 18th. It seems possible that he may workout for teams before the June 4th draft.
2010: .252/.408/.464/.872 ... AB=151, ISOp=.212, 2B=6, 3B=1, HR=8, BB=31 (16.2%), K=42 (22%)
2010 Grt Lks: .277/.314/.319/.633 ... AB=47 , ISOp=.042, 2B=2, 3B=0, HR=0, BB=2 (3.9%), K=11 (21.6%)
2011: .326/.438/.778/.1216 . AB=230, ISOp=.452, 2B=10, 3B=2, HR=30, BB=37 (13.2%), K=42 (14.9%)
2011 Cape Cd: .316/.457/.537/.994 ... AB=136, ISOp=.221, 2B=12, 3B=0, HR=6, BB=30 (17.3%), K=44 (25%)
2012: .412/.593/.765/.1357 . AB=17, ISOp=.353, 2B=0, 3B=0, HR=2, BB=7 (25.9%), K=1 (3.7%)
VID1: BP & live ABs (BB, BB, HR) - CCL - June 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A5XxHZhKps&feature=related
VID2: live ABs (1B, HR) - CCL - June 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyWLutTa724&feature=related
Steven Rodriguez: LHP, Univ. of Florida (6'2", 230) DOB=4/16/91
Ranked the #114 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Rodriguez has gotten better in each of his 3 seasons at Florida and has put up consistently strong numbers out of the pen during the 2011 and '12 seasons. He throws a very good slider and an above-average FB (that sits in the low-90s), and he learned a cut FB this past offseason that has been a very effective pitch against RH hitters in 2012. He's a decent candidate to try to convert to a starter due to his excellent control, deceptive delivery and 3-pitch arsenal. Worst case, he should be a very good LOOGY once he gets to the majors. He was drafted in the 48th round out of HS by the Astros.
2010: G=32, IP=37.2, H=31, K=44, K/9=10.5, BB=12, BB/9=2.9, K/BB=3.7, H/9=7.4, WHIP=1.14, ERA=1.91
2011: G=31, IP=57.1, H=41, K=77, K/9=12.1, BB=13, BB/9=2.0, K/BB=5.9, H/9=6.4, WHIP=.94, ERA=2.04
Addison Russell: SS, RHH, Pace HS, Pace, FL (6'0", 200) DOB=1/23/94
Ranked the #28 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Russell has seen his draft fortunes rise and fall as he put on and then lost around 20-25 pounds between Jan. 2011 and March 2012. He certainly has the physical tools to be a very good ballplayer, but looks way to rushed and uncomfortable at SS for me to project him as being able to remain at that premium position in the pros. He does have above average arm strength (as high as 88 mph off the mound) and speed (as fast as 6.71 seconds in the 60), but neither of those 2 tools would place him in the elite level of HS prospects. What he does possess is a strong frame, strong hands, and an efficient swing that allows him to generate plus bat speed and rate out as having plus raw power. He is still raw at the plate in terms of his batting eye, so the offense side of his game also comes with some question marks.
Univ. of Auburn commit.
VID1: IF + BP - August 2010 - Under Armour AA game in Chicago - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UQpFl8ZQ9g
VID2: BP + IF - August 2011 - PG Classic in San Diego - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4luqJ-S1epE
VID3: live ABs - June 2011 - Tournament of Stars - Cary, NC - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvVS28T4bog
Adrian Sampson: rhp, Bellevue Comm. College, Bellevue, WA (6'3", 205) DOB=10/7/91
Ranked the #85 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Sampson is a draft-eligible sophomore who pitched well enough as a freshman to attract 35 scouts to his 2012 season opening start, when his fastball ranged between 89-93 mph, and another 20 scouts for his 2nd appearance of the season, when his fastball touched 95 mph. He has also improved the velocity of his curve this season, while displaying good command of the pitch. Sampson underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 (after his junior season in high school), which explains why several major college baseball programs dropped their pursuit of him. After a long and grueling rehab, he decided to stick close to home and enroll at Bellevue CC. It turned out to be a good decision for both sides, as Sampson led Bellevue to the national JuCo title last year and was drafted in the 16th round of the 2011 draft by the Marlins, and his brother Julian was drafted and signed with the Phillies out of high school in 2007, but he is now playing in an independent pro league.
Univ. of Oregon commit.
VID1: Live game (vs. Pierce CC) - March 4, 2012 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UJyN1LsD1E
VID2: Live game (vs. Lane CC) - March 24, 2012 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhxhdLhco-0
Nolan Sanburn: RHP, Univ. of Arkansas (6'1", 210) DOB=7/21/91
Ranked the #55 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Sanburn is a draft-eligible sophomore who is still learning how to pitch. Can consistently throw up to 96-97 MPH. Could be a good pickup in the late-2nd round if Tidrow and the Giants feel that he has the ability to convert to a starting role. Sanburn really caught the attention of evaluators on a national level by consistently thouching 97-98 mph with his FB during 19 innnings of work in the Northwoods League last summer. He had 24 Ks and only 9 BBs. As a sophomore for Arkansas this spring, he has 43 Ks vs. 18 BBs in 34 innings of work - 4 starts and 14 relief appearances. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 34th round of the 2010 draft.
2011: IP=35.7, GS=4, K=43, K/9=10.9, BB=19, BB/9=4.8, K/BB=2.3, H=58, WHIP=1.29, BABIP=.307
VID1: Live game - March 2012 vs. Texas - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieV9wyaUWaQ
Corey Seager: 3B/2B/SS, LHH (throws RH), Northwest Cabarrus HS, Kannapolis, NC (6'2", 190) DOB=4/27/94
Ranked the #19 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Seager is a SS now, but is predicted to have to slide over to 3B in the pros due to range deficiencies. He has the soft hands, quick feet, above-average arm and projectable power to be a good fit at 3B in the future and may even have the quickness to be able to play 2B. Seager is the younger brother of Seattle Mariners 3B/2B, Kyle Seager, but is more physical than Kyle was at the same age and projects to be bigger and stronger and with a higher ceiling. He's wiry strong and smart at the plate and keeps things simple, and as he gets stronger the power should come. Here's the PG scouting report on Seager after seeing him play in a showcase event in June 2011: "Corey Seager is a 2012 MIF/3B with a 6-3 195 lb. frame from Kannapolis, NC who attends Northwest Cabarrus HS. Excellent physical build, square shoulders with tons of projection. Left handed hitter, big hand coil and wrap to start swing, generates very good bat speed, loose extended swing with lift, ball jumps hard, hand action creates length at beginning of swing. 6.85 runner, very good infield arm strength, plus carry on throws, accurate, third base future but all the tools to be a defensive standout. Brother of Mariners 2B Kyle Seager. Outstanding student. Named to the Perfect Game All American Classic team"
Univ. of South Carolina commit.
VID1: IF drills, BP, live ABs - PG Showcase - August 2011 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU8hTY7xYx8
Sam Selman: LHP, Vanderbilt (6'3", 190) DOB=11/14/90
Ranked the #146 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Selman has never really put things together during his time at Vanderbilt until just the past month. He only pitched in a combined total of 12.1 innings (in 11 games) in relief during his freshman and sophomore years. It seems that Selman has spent most of his college time trying to get control of his pitches and his growing body, while simultaneously trying to add mass and strength to his skinny frame. Selman entered this 2012 college season (his junior year) having grown about 2 inches taller and added about 25 pounds since he enrolled as a freshman. He showed signs of finally starting to put things together when he pitched in the Northwoods Summer League last year. He routinely touched 97-98 mph with his FB during his starts and ended up being named the #2 overall prospect in the entire league (the Giants' Ray Black was named #6) by PerfectGame.com, and the #5 prospect by Baseball America, by the end of the season. In 8 starts and 41.2 innings, Selman had a 3.89 ERA with 46 Ks (K/9=9.9), but he still struggled to throw strikes and ended up issuing 29 walks (BB/9=6.3). Selman has been used mainly as the #4 starter for Vandy this spring, pitching mostly in mid-week games against non-conference teams. Through 10 starts and 3 relief appearances, Selman has thrown 58 innings. He has been able to keep his K-rate at an excellent level (above 10 K per 9 innings) while noticeably dropping his BB-rate to just below 5 per 9 innings. Selman was drafted by the Angels in 14th round of the 2009 draft.
2011: IP=64.1, K=68, K/9=9.5, BB=34, BB/9=4.8, K/BB=2.0, H/9=8.1, WHIP=1.43, BABIP=.329, BAA=.242
VID: Post-Game Q & A - April 2012 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpqEIEH8SVM
Richie Shaffer: 3B, RHH, Clemson (6'3", 205) DOB=3/15/91
Ranked the #21 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Shaffer has big time bat speed and has shown no problems with catching up to mid-90s heat thrown his way. He's got a very good frame, with still a bit of projection left in it, and is more athletic than generally thought. Questions remain on his ability to stick at 3B in the majors, but he's athletic enough to be able to shift to LF and not be shunted straight to 1B where his power might be a bit below average. This 2012 college season Shaffer has shown good patience and an excellent batting eye at the plate. He has been able to keep his K-rate down near the 16% level, while greatly increasing his BB-rate up to near the astronomical 20% level.
'12: .344/.470/.590/1.060, AB=212, ISOp=.246, 1B=43, 2B=18, 3B=2, HR=10, BB=51 (19.2%), K=47 (17.7%), wOBA=.459
Lucas Sims: RHP, Brookwood HS, Snellville, GA (6'2", 195) DOB=5/10/94
Ranked the #29 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting.
James (Tyler) Smith: RHP, USC-Sumter JuCo, SC (6'3", 205) DOB=2/3/92
Ranked the #454 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Pitching for the same team that the Giants own Heath Hembree started out his college career with, Smith started 13 games this season. In 79.2 innings, he compiled the following stats:
IP=79.2, K=102, K/9=11.5, BB=35, BB/9=4.0, K/BB=2.9, H=53, WHIP=1.10, ERA=1.13
Smith features a FB that tops out at 95 mph. Univ. of Tennessee commit.
Matt Strahm: LHP, Neosho County JuCo, Kansas (6'3", 170) DOB=11/12/91
Ranked the #333 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Strahm is a sophomore with two above average pitches - a 92 mph FB and a plus hard slider - to go with a solid-average changeup that he seldom throws, but flashes promising running action when he does throw it. Strahm has a projectable frame that leads many to believe that he will add some velocity as he grows and matures into his frame. He throws with a loose and easy action that makes his velocity deceptive to hitters. He leads all JuCo pitchers in the nation with 124 Ks (in 84 innings). He has also given up 22 BBs and 61 hits this season. Strahm pitched in the Northwoods Summer League in 2011, so he does have some experience against more advanced competition.
Univ. of Nebraska commit.
Chris Stratton: RHP, Miss. State Univ. (6'3", 200) DOB=8/22/90
Ranked the #18 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Long and lean frame. He has a relatively clean delivery with medium effort that he repeats very well. His FB sits comfortably in the 90-92 mph range, with some late movement, and can touch 94 when he lets loose. He usually gets a good downward plane on the FB and will throw it on both corners and will elevate it up in the zone. His #1 weapon is his slider, which has excellent late downward break and also has above average horizontal break. Hitters have a very difficult time differentiating his slider from his FB. Stratton does a great job of varying the velocity that he throws the slider at (from 80 to 85 mph) so it can be a tight, late-breaking power pitch or he can slow it down and use it almost like a changeup. Stratton had his coming-out party on March 16th when he struck out 17 LSU batters while only allowing 4 hits, 2 BBs and 1 earned run in 8.2 innings. His coach let him throw 137 pitches and did ride him hard during the regular season and into the first round of the playoffs, so whichever team drafts him can't expect many more innings out of him in 2012, even if he signs early. Good thing he's such an advanced pitcher who should easily be able to start out in A+ ball when the 2013 season opens. I wouldn't be surprised if he were pitching in AA before the 2013 season ends or if he makes his major league debut as early as August of 2014. He was named to the 2011 SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011. Pitched for league champion Harwich in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011 - ending up with a 1-1 record, and a 2.18 ER. One red flag is that his birthdate actually puts him in the senior year of college so he's very old for a junior.
Tweet from his 3/23 start against Arkansas: "Chris Stratton's 107th pitch is a 93 mph fastball for his 9th strikeout thru 7 innings."
2012: IP=95.2, K=115, K/9=10.8, BB=19, BB/9=1.8, K/BB=6.1, H/9=6.9, WHIP=.96, BABIP=.301, BAA=.210
Marcus Stroman: RHP, Duke Univ., (5'9", 180) DOB=5/1/91
BA has him ranked as the #22 overall prospect in their preseason rankings, and he moved up to #10 in their mid-May rankings. He's on the young side of his graduating class - he won't turn 21 until the beginning of May. Due to his size, some evaluators still question if the bullpen won't be his eventual destination in the pros, but Stroman has shown this college season that he already has an above average 3-pitch arsenal and the stamina to be a successful starter in the majors. Stroman has consistently pitched more than 110 pitches per start and has consistently held his easy 92-95 mph velocity into the 7th, 8th and 9th innings of multiple starts. In the early innings of games he has consistently been able to touch 97-98 mph. In addition, Stroman has been able to keep his above average control (very unusual for a college power arm with his K-rate) throughout the vast majorities of his starts. Following his freshman season at Duke, Stroman was accepted into the elite Cape Cod Summer League and ended up being named to the All-Star Game and to the All-League team at the end of the season. Working as the closer for the Orleans Firebirds, Stroman made 17 appearances across 27 innings - he didn't allow any runs, gave up only 12 hits, and struck out 35 while walking only 3 batters. Stroman did start out splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation during his sophomore season (in 2011) at Duke - getting in 64.2 innings across 8 starts and 9 relief appearances. He struck out 90 batters (K/9=12.6) while walking only 21 (BB/9=2.9), to post an excellent K/BB=4.3. He was more hittable than I normally like to see in a college pitcher (BAA=0.241, WHIP=1.24), but some of that appears to be due to bad luck (BABIP=0.377) and a weak defensive team in the field behind him. In between his pitching assignments, Stroman was the starting 2B for his team (30 starts). He had a slash line of .250/. with 9 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 SBs in 15 attempts. He had an outstanding 2011 summer season for the USA National Team out of the pen. Working as their closer he was close to untouchable in 7 appearances: IP=8.1, H=0, R=0, K=17 (63%), BB=1 (6%), K/9=18.4, BB/9=1.1, K/BB=17
He was drafted in the 18th round (#532 overall) out of a Long Island, NY high school in 2009 by Washington, but turned them down for the chance at a Duke education. Here's a promising sign in his development as a starting pitcher rather than a closer. Stroman noted that his best pitch during his record-breaking 17 K performance versus George Washington back in the first week of March was his changeup. Here's the full Stroman's quote: "My changeup was a big pitch today," Stroman said. "Once I saw that they were kind of out on their front foot when I threw it, I knew I could definitely throw that pitch early in counts. I even used it for a putaway sometimes. It's just a huge pitch because then they can't sit on my fastball, and if they can't sit on my fastball, I can kind of mix it up and just toy with hitters at that point."
Duke’s Marcus Stroman Fans 17 in 7 innings:
2012: IP=98, K=136, K/9=12.5, BB=26, BB/9=2.4, K/BB=5.2, H/9=7.6, WHIP=1.11, BABIP=.392, BAA=.239
VID1: 7-3-2011 - Team USA vs. Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_cuGVKiJ88
VID2: 8-7-2010 - post-game interview, CCL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_wEUUR_1D0&feature=related
Stryker Trahan: C/RF, LHH (throws RH), Acadiana HS, Lafayette, LA (6'1", 220) DOB=4/25/94
Ranked the #27 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting, after being as high as #12 in the February list. Trahan is a very athletic kid that many had evaluated as being the next great complete all-around catcher in the mold of Buster Posey, Matt Wieters and Blake Swihart coming into the 2012 high school baseball season. Trahan has scuffled a bit with the bat and the glove in the first part of the season (more so on defense than at the plate) and there are some evaluators that now doubt whether he can remain at catcher in the pros. That's not a big deal in my mind, because I've always wanted the Giants to draft him at #20 and move him to RF - where his above average arm, plus LH power, and plus speed should play quite nicely. Trahan still has the sweet and simple LH swing that reminds me a lot of Josh Hamilton's swing. He generates a ton of easy power and projects to translate it almost seamlessly to the pro game. After power, Trahan's 2nd best tool is his plus speed. He's been timed in the 60 as low as 6.54 seconds, which is something you only usually only see out of skinny CF and SS prospects. It would be a shame to waste that speed at catcher. Strahan's arm strength is above average (his throws to 2B have been clocked as high as the 85 mph mark), but nowhere close to the class of Buster's or Weiter's. He does have very quick and agile feet and has displayed some top-rated POP times in drills. It wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being a solid defensive 3B after a couple of years of growing pains if some team wanted to steer him in that direction.
VID1: BP + live game - Fall 2011 - http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/02/draft-video-stryker-trahan/
VID2: BP - August 2011 - Chicago Under-Armour All-Star game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zvEdZ6zwzs
Nick Travieso: RHP, Archbishop McCarthy HS, Pembroke Pines, FL (6'2", 210) DOB=1/31/94
Ranked the #40 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Travieso is a big guy, with big-time arm strength. There doesn't seem to be much physical projection left for him, and I believe that he'll likely have to work diligently not to put on too much weight throughout his career. His FB was sitting low-90s and touching 95 mph during the showcase games in the summer and fall of 2011. Traveiso has surprisingly upped his velo another notch or 2 during the 2012 HS season. He touched 97 mph in several starts during March and April and was been sitting comfortably in the 91-93 range "with good life down in the zone". He threw a no-hitter in mid-April and has reportedly cleaned up his delivery. By the beginning of May, he had put together 2 straight starts where his FB was touching 99 mph and sat easily in the 93-95 range. He's still a bit raw, but the arm strength is undeniably top-shelf. The added arm strength this spring also translated into a tighter and sharper breaking slider that can now be considered an above-average pitch with potential to be plus. His third pitch is a changeup that he uses sparingly due to his inability to consistently keep it down in the zone - it can be deceptive, though, and has potential. Besides that, Travieso's only other stumbling block is his command and control - not unusual for a HS kid that has seen such major jumps in velocity over the last 3.5 months.
Univ of Miami commit.
VID1: Live game - Spring 2012 - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20930881&topic_id=29113154&c_id=mlb
VID2: Live game - Under Armour AA game - Aug. 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYNnyAvzWUc
VID3: Live game - Under Armour AA game - Aug. 2011: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/05/draft-videos-ty-hensley-and-nick-travieso/
Duane Underwood: RHP, Pope HS, Marietta, GA (6'2", 200) DOB=7/20/94
He was ranked as the #33 overall draft prospect by BA back in February, but fell to # 104 in their mid-May rankings.
He has a great pitcher's build - a high waist and long legs on a projectable frame with sloping shoulders. He looks very flexible and athletic in his motions and his delivery reflects that. He gets good extension on his delivery and has easy mechanics that allows him to generate plus arm speed. He was touching 98 mph with his FB in the summer and fall of 2011, and was able to keep his 92-94 mph "sit-range" velo deep into games. Underwood’s FB is usually overpowering, he has a decent changeup that is still developing, and when his low-70s curveball is sharp and biting he has been nearly unhittable at the HS level. Vanderbilt Univ. commit.
UPDATE: BA has a long post about Underwood's struggles this spring. Apparently his mechanics have been out of whack and his velocity and stuff have varied wildly (as low as 87 and as high as 97). On the plus side, his changeup has developed into his most consistently good pitch. Unless Underwood is willing to drop his bonus demands to below the $800K level, I don't see a way that he gets drafted this year - considering his Vandy scholarship. Here's the link to the BA post: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/05/what-to-do-with-duane-underwood/
VID1: BP & warmups - Aug 2011, PG Showcase, San Diego: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxFd9Bk0qs4
VID2: Live game - Summer 2011 - Area Code Games: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20000725
Derick Velazquez: RHP, Merced JuCo, CA (6'3", 180) DOB=//9
Ranked the #75 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Velazquez is a draft-eligible freshman and is actually younger than a good number of the HS prospects that will be drafted this year. Velazquez is long and lean with long arms and legs and a high waist. He is quite skinny, so he does have the ability to get stronger and thicker. Velazquez came to Merced as an unheralded high school pitcher from tiny Los Banos HS. He saw significant velocity gains between the end of his HS career and his debut for Merced. Velazquez pounds the strike zone with a low- to mid-90s fastball with heavy, late run that produces weak ground balls, and he has an above average curveball that is his strikeout pitch. He is a very good athlete who plays SS and is one of the best hiters on his team on days that he's not pitching. Velazquez just finished a tremendous freshman season for Merced, compiling an 11-0 record in 14 starts and 3 relief appearances. He pitched 3 complete games (2 of which were shutouts) and only allowed 12 extra-base hits (8 doubles, 1 triple and 3 HRs) - a testament to his excellent sinker.
2012: IP=106.2, K=68, K/9=5.7, BB=22, BB/9=1.9, K/BB=3.1, H=88, H/9=7.4, WHIP=1.03, ERA=1.43
VID1: Mound workout - May 2011 - http://www.ncsasports.org/baseball-recruiting/ca/los-banos/los-banos-high-school/derick-velazquez
Jonathan Walsh: SWH (throws RH), LF, Univ. of Texas (6'3", 220) DOB=11/14/90
The Giants drafted Walsh out of high school in the 18th round of the 2009 draft, but he decided to go to college instead. It appears to have been the right decision for him, because he struggled at the plate during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Texas and was relegated to the bottom third of the batting order. Walsh made some key mechanical changes in his swing this past offseason and it has paid big dividends in his offensive output, turning him into one of the best hitters in the Big 12 Conference during the first half of the 2012 college season (hitting .380/.419/ through the end of March). He seems to have figured things out and his move into the cleanup spot early in the season has lit a fire into what had been a moribund Texas offense. Walsh is fast, athletic and has a very good arm. He has been timed at 6.6 seconds in the 60. He was once seen as a good prospect at catcher during the end of his high school career. He has the strength and potential to hit for much more power as he continues to mature and learn how to utilize his natural strength and quickness. Walsh really tailed off at the plate in the 2nd half of the 2012 season (slumping to a slash of .285/.345/.462/.807) and his draft status has taken a hit.
'12: .285/.345/.462/.807, AB=186, ISOp=.177, 1B=34, 2B=11, 3B=2, HR=6, BB=16 (7.6%), K=28 (13.3%), wOBA=.353
Shane Watson: RHP, Lakewood HS, Bellflower, CA (6'4", 180) DOB=9/13/93
Ranked the #30 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He's old for his HS class and really should have graduated last year. Has a very projectable frame and will likely end up with an ideal pitcher's body. Still raw, but throws 91-93 mph with a natural downward plane from an over-the-top delivery. He has the arm speed you want in a young pitching prospect and a lot of upside.
VID1: live game - http://www.bbprospectreport.com/2012/03/12/shane-watson-5#more-15516
Walker Weickel: RHP, Olympia HS, Orlando, FL (6'6", 205) DOB=11/14/93
Ranked the #37 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. He dropped about 25 spots on the list between February and May, becuase his max velocity was oscillating between the upper-80s and lower-90s all spring long. Weickel doesn’t have a knockout off speed pitch, but consistently pounds the zone with a sinking fastball that usually sits 91-93. He also can command his curveball and changeup for strikes. Weickel’s stuff is not as swing-and-miss as some other 2012 HS arms, but he repeats his delivery, throws strikes and has very good command of his fastball inside the strike zone.
Univ. of Miami commit.
Jeffrey (J.B.) Wendelken: RHP, Middle Georgia JuCo (6'1", 210) DOB=3/24/93
A draft-eligible freshman, Wendelken has been thoroughly dominant this season - going 6-0 in 21 appearances. His FB has consistently topped out between 93-95 mph in most of his games this season. He has a thick and sturdy build, so you're not at all likely to get any physical projection with him despite his relatively young age.
'12: IP=44.1, K=53, K/9=10.8, BB=8, BB/9=1.6, K/BB=6.6, H=25, H/9=5.1, WHIP=.74, ERA=0.20
Luther (Max) White: LHH, OF, Williston HS, Williston, FL (6'2", 175) DOB=10/10/93
Ranked the #111 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. A sleeper that is starting to get some attention in the last 2 months before the draft. He was known as mainly a "speed-guy" heading into the 2012 HS season. Add in a well above average arm and the projection of top-shelf defense in the OF, and you see why White was seen as an interesting follow that had the possiblity of sneaking into the top 150 HS prospects before the draft. White has since really opened some eyes by adding height and weight to his frame in the past 6 months and getting noticeably stronger in the last few months. Some are starting to see more power projection in his game than was initially thought, making him a potential top 50 HS prospect. In terms of tools, White has been timed in the 60 as low as 6.5 seconds, and his throws from the OF have been clocked as high as 90 mph. His swing is fundamentally sound - smooth and compact with a short and quick path to the ball, yet still able to generate very good bat speed. He makes consistent contact and with the added strength that contact has become hard contact as this season has progressed. With a frame that now appears to me more projectable than a year ago, it's possible to see that White might sneak into the 1-S or 2nd round of the draft. Univ. of Florida commit.
VID: Live ABs - Spring 2012 - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=29113154&content_id=21767707
Johnathan (Mac) Williamson: RF, RHH, Wake Forest Univ. (6'4" 240) DOB=7/15/90
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA in their mid-May posting. Williamson is a year older than his college class, because he redshirted his freshman year. He came to Wake as a pitcher, but they converted him to the OF after his redshirt year to better utilize his power, speed and athleticism. Williamson has a plus arm, above average speed for his size and fringe-plus power. He hit 12 HRs in 2011 (with the new dead BBCOR bats) and already has 14 HRs this year. He can even play some CF in a pinch. His big drawback is the lack of consistent contact at the plate, but even there you do get the somewhat mitigating factor that he shows good patience and the ability to work a BB (his OBP the past 3 seasons - .348, .368, .391). I think that he would be a good gamble after the 3rd round as it's hard to find his much-needed power/speed/arm combo in a college outfielder. Williamson was drafted in the 46th round of the 2011 draft by the Red Sox.
'12: .288/.401/.603/1.004, AB=184, ISOp=.315, 1B=29, 2B=7, 3B=0, HR=17, BB=23 (10.4%), K=40 (18%), wOBA=.428
Robert (Alex) Wood: LHP, Univ. of Georgia (6'4", 220) DOB=1/12/91
He was ranked as the 75th overall draft prospect by BA back in February, and he moved up to #54 in their mid-May rankings. He's a draft-eligible red-shirt sophomore. Wood sat out the 2010 college season after having Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow in June of 2009. He pitched 93.1 innnigs (in 15 starts) as Georgia's #1 starter while a red-shirt freshman in 2011. This year, his 2nd season following his TJ surgery, Wood has been able to throw his full complement of pitches and has seen his FB velocity increase to where he now touches 96 mph in most starts. Add his velocity and arm strength to his excellent command and control, and the fact that he's a lefty, and it's not difficult to predict that some team will grab Wood within the first 50 picks of the draft.
'12: IP=102.1, K=100, K/9=8.8, BB=21, BB/9=1.9, K/BB=4.8, H/9=8.4, WHIP=1.13, BABIP=.336, BAA=.253